Cannes 'bitten' by South Korean movie Parasite, awarding it top Palme d'Or prize

South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho (left) with South Korean actor Song Kang-ho after winning the Palme d'Or, the top award at the Cannes Film Festival, for the film Parasite on May 25, 2019.
South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho (left) with South Korean actor Song Kang-ho after winning the Palme d'Or, the top award at the Cannes Film Festival, for the film Parasite on May 25, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (NYTimes) - The Palme d'Or, the top award at the Cannes Film Festival, was awarded on Saturday (May 25) to Parasite, a ferocious satire and critical favourite from South Korean director Bong Joon-ho.

"I never imagined this," he said, accepting the award.

This is the first time a South Korean movie has won the Palme d'Or.

Sylvester Stallone, who was honoured at the festival, presented the Grand Prix, or second prize, to French-Senegalese film-maker Mati Diop for her feature debut Atlantics.

French director Céline Sciamma won the best screenplay prize for Portrait Of A Lady On Fire. Another critical favourite, this love story set in the 18th century centres on a female painter and a young woman whose portrait she is painting.

The best actress prize was presented to Emily Beecham, star of Little Joe, a mordant, amusing movie from Austrian director Jessica Hausner.

The best actor award was won by Antonio Banderas, star of Pedro Almodóvar's widely loved Pain And Glory. "This is my night of glory," Banderas said, as the audience burst into applause.

 
 

One of the biggest surprises came in the best director race, won by Belgian brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne for Young Ahmed.

They have won the Palme d'Or twice but their new movie was seen by many critics as a disappointment.

The most hotly anticipated film in the festival, Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, left without any prizes.